Wednesday, March 7, 2012

   Did you know that the difference in cost between a gluten item and the non-gluten same item is tax deductible? Save the receipts and calculate the difference yourself. Hey. IRS, we gotta eat - give us a break!
   I used to think that one side or the other( Dems or Republicans) were listening to our pleas to keep a little grocery money for ourselves, but now at the age of sixty, I have deduced they are all the same. They have full time jobs plotting on how to take more of what we earn. What would Jesus say today? Would he still say "render unto Ceasar"  even when Ceasar's sayin" "nice sandals and toga, hand 'em over".
    I'm going to embrace Budjewism.  I will sit and meditate while waiting for a sale. Keep in mind I do not wish to offend any Buddhists or Jews or sandal wearers.  I wish to offend POLITICIANS.
  Gluten free bread is so expensive I do not let it go bad.  The bread is kept in the fridge and I freeze the hamburger buns and just pry loose the ones I need.  Like any child our special little celiac girl loves her french fries and burger.
  You cannot use the bags of  pre-cut fries as they have a gluten coating.  When you peel the potatoes and cut them up, dry them off with a clean paper towel before putting them into a healthy oil , like olive oil. For hash browns, use a potato peeler to make little bits of potatoes which you can then form into whatever shape and fry.  If you are watching your   weight then just smear your cookie sheet with oil and bake the fries till  brown. Must also use gluten free ketchup for those fries!

Monday, March 5, 2012

  Udi's chocolate muffins, with strawberries and some some canned redi-whip made a super dessert for our special girl at a birthday party recently.  We do not expect the host family to buy a gluten free cake just for our granddaughter so at the last minute I  "Krogered" and bought the three items. It is important to remember you cannot go into someone else's kitchen grab a knife and their cutting board to cut the strawberries.  In this case a paper plate from the middle of the stack that has not been handled is best, then with carefully washed hands I assembled the  goodies.  The strawberries were rinsed under the faucet.
  Our girl usually likes her fruit cut but she understands, and the extra squirt of whipped cream made up for it. Before I could pack up and leave a guest picked up the canned redi-whip(gluten free)and sprayed down her cake.  She not only put her gluteny little finger  close to the tip but it touched the cake. I was happy that I had already made our girl's dessert for the party so the redi whip stayed there and our girl was informed NOT to use it again.
   I do not get upset when these things happen.  Life is too short and who doesn't want whipped cream on their cake? I was watching the commercial for a reality show called "My Strange Addiction" in whch a woman liked to eat dirt. Is this for real? As I watched her lounging in a chair and dipping her hand into a bag of potting soil and eating it I wondered if it had gluten in it.  That is how my mind works now.  Maybe I should send her some redi-whip.  Couldn't hurt the taste factor.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

So, the battle had begun and is ongoing. The defensive war on gluten for Arianna. My first grocery shopping trip for Arianna lasted almost three hours. I like to help my daughter because she works full time and two other children. I am retired and am happy to shop and cook for Arianna.
The books and web sites I visited said that grocery store employees can help call manufacturers for you to determine if a product is gluten free. REALLY! ?
No help from  employee Gen X slackers made me mad. How dare they pull this slacker crap on ME.  I am a BabyBoomer. WE invented slacker-ness.  We wouldn't go to war. We wouldn't conform. We wouldn't wear a bra.  Better to go without and let our boobs bounce free in the wind - even though now they look like two tube socks hanging down BECAUSE we wouldn't give in to the Man or supportive  spandex.  Of course if the hippies of our generation had been told by Pharoah to build the pyramids we would have thrown down our tools.  The aliens can build 'em, but we're NOT! Laziness or stubborn political/social views - hard to tell.
After two hours I only had grapes in my basket. I was afraid to feed her anything. I used my cell phone constantly in the aisles of the grocery stores. Her supper was cheese - not pre slliced. Gluten free crackers and grapes.
I have since made friends with the manager of Fresh Market here in Huntsville, Alabama. He is always willing to call manufacturers for me and order anything I want to try for Arianna .  I have offered to have his baby but thank God he turned me down with a laugh, as I don't think I have any girlie parts left that still work. Also God, Allah, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, or Elvis designed destiny for me to meet up with  an assistant manager of a local Kroger store. She has a Celiac daughter and has much experience dealing with this problem. She is the best! She happened upon me standing in front of the gluten-free food section with GF cookbook in hand blubbering away.  She stopped to help this 60 year old 5'2" Grandma with a hug and just the information I needed.  She gave me confidence that I wouldn't kill my beloved granddaughter if I made dinner for her. Yes Arianna would eat more than grapes and cheese and crackers for dinner tonight!
 That evening I made Mrs. Lemur's GF Mac and Cheese. I added grated sharp cheddar cheese (must be hand grated from a solid  block, not pre-cut). I made steamed brocolli in a stainless steel pot ( cookware cannot be teflon or coated but glass is good along with stainless steel). I made a broiled chicken breast,washed,salt and peppered, on an olive oil coated stainless pan in the oven.  The oven had been totally cleaned and sanitized so that no cross contamination can occur from the miriad of gluten things I had baked over the years. Arianna ate like we have never seen her eat before. I was so happy but in an instant, Arianna's little brother threw his gluten-infested roll in her plate! New plate and more food  served to Arianna.  It is clear the other children will have to understand they cannot touch her plate, her food, her napkin or utensils.
  We will save Cross Contamination for another time as it is the scariest thing imaginable.You must be 21 years of age or older and have a tough constitution. It reminds me of  seeing a poster of a dust mite in a Doctor's office once.  What could this monster be? I had one and a half college degrees, read a lot, fancied myself as a cerebral person but I had never seen such a creepy ,malevalent creature as this. Life was so nice before I knew these creatures are everywhere crawling on us , eating our dead skin cells.  I'm here to tell ya', cross contamination is even creepier.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I cried so much when Arianna was born. Happy tears. My water filled eyes couldn't focus on the pink squeaky infant in front of me.  I had to ask my hubby if she had all her fingers and toes. She had all her digits, she had dimples, she had a little temper, and she had Celiacs disease. She also had a doctor , parents, and a grandmother -ME, who didn't know she had Celiacs disease. The years went by and I had two more grandchildren and a busy life.  Arianna inherited my asthma but was on the whole a healthy little girl. I wondered why, at eight years old , her  fairly new, permanent teeth were so yellow. My daughter (Arianna's mother) and I asked her pediatric dentist to explain these very yellow chompers.  Arianna doesn't brush enough. But mother and daughter testified to the fact they were brushed and flossed regularly.

 "Well, some people just have yellow teeth." said the dentist

." But Dr.",said I , " neither her brother nor sister have yellow teeth . I've never seen a kid with bright yellow teeth like this. She doesn't drink coffee or smoke.  I feel there must be a cause." He was NOT interested.  I can remember my own childhood dentist calling my mother's attention to my sinus problems, sugar intake, tonsils,ect.  Many things can be diagnosed by the teeth and gums but Dr. Pediatric Dentist was NOT interested.  I'll bet Arianna's extremely yellow teeth would have been more interesting  if she were HIS child.
 A new symptom began worsening. Arianna had dark circles under her eyes.  At first intermittently, and then all the time, getting deeper and darker. Her pediatrician said allergies, hayfever,and  asthma were the cause."  I have all of these conditions , even worse than Arianna , yet I have never had dark deep circles under my eyes.  Arianna didn't either until the last year or so and it is worsening," said I.

 "Well, some people just have dark circles under their eyes."replied the Dr. Pediatrician.

Arianna was thinner than her siblings but that didn't bother me. What began worrying me was her lethargic nature.Back to the Dr. Pediatrician for more blood tests.

"Well, some people go to sleep to late."said the Dr.

 Some symptoms come on so very slowly that they are not recognized. Arianna would get easily frustrated if she did not learn or achieve something  immediately because when you are truly tired, it is a great effort to do anything. One Saturday she laid on the couch all day and could not be persuaded to get up.  My beautiful, curious, intelligent granddaughter did NOT want to be bothered.  This is so unlike the little girl of a few years ago who didn't have enough hours in the day to acomplish all her ideas, her games, her art, her reading, her piano practicing. I sat on the couch with her and laid her head on my lap.What was wrong with her hair, I thought.  It was no longer shiny.  It had always been silky and shiny. I ran my fingers through her  brown hair and my hand came away with strands of brittle hair. I sat quietly the tears streaming down my face.Something is wrong with Arianna and I don't know what to do! My daughter had complete confidence in Dr. Pediatrician.  I am to shut up about dry hair and leave them all alone.
Months went by and Arianna's stomach aches grew worse. My daughter is a good mother and always sees that her children are cared for so back to Dr. Pediatrician we go. I had told my husband, Arianna's parents and anyone who would listen that somthing was WRONG with the child.  My daughter mostly agreed but what was to be done when Dr. Pediatrician says nothing is wrong?
Another check-up loomed and  I wanted  to know why Arianna's siblings grew but she didn't seem to be getting any taller. Dr. Pediatrician was finally convinced something was afoot.  Arianna had NOT GROWN in a year and stomach aches had begun and progressed.
Thank God for a dailey, painful, cramping in the stomach. Arianna was sent to an abdominal pediatric specialist who ran a blood test.  She has an immune disorder called Celiac's Disease. She had a telescopic type test to see what damage has been caused by her intake of gluten. Dead celia in the intestines and we can only guess at the damage to her other organs.
Her parents along with her grandparents (me and hubby) voraciously read and learned everything we could about this disease.
The disease reminds me of an arsenic test that was administered in the 1800's as a cure for syphillus. Slowly the arsenic would kill off the spiroketes that caused syphillus along with cells in organs and intestines. The trick was to kill off more spiroketes than cells in the body. Sometimes this didn"twork and the patient died  before the spiroketes could be killed off. Every time I gave that sweet baby a cracker, cereal, or toast I was sprinkling a little arsenic down her throat. Even a bite of her birthday cake which I lovingly made was poisoning this bright eyed, dimpled angel God had given to me to mentor and just plain have fun with.
Two years had gone by since the yellow teeth appointment.  Years of damage to her little body and of growth she will never have.  Today she is growing and has energy and shiny hair.